allstar18

Proper Validation?

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Hi, I'm new to the boards but I've read alot of the credit repair/collection laws on this site & recently sent off a DV letter to a company called IMBS Collections. They're based in Plantation, FL and are licensed in the state of WA where I live.

The problem I have is their response to my DV request, which is as follows:

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Re: XXXXXX Validation Notification

Dear XXXX:

The health care provider(s) listed below, recently hired IMBS to collect the balance on this account. Our client's records show you as the person responsible for payment of the charges for PHYSICIAN SERVICES.

If we can answer any questions, or if you feel you do not owe this amount, please call us toll free at xxx or write us at the above address. This is an attempt to collect a debt. Any information obtained will be used for that purpose.

To avoid further collection activities, you may send payment in full. Just fill in your credit card information on the reverse, or enclose your check/money order payable to the creditor along with the payment voucher below. The reply evelope provided needs no postage. Unless specified, your payment will be applied to the oldest balance first.

We hope to have your full cooperation in this collection matter.

Best regards from,

IMBS Collections

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I do not recognize the OC listed however I did have a hospital visit dating back to the original service date. The bill was written off due to financial aid from the hospital. I'm assuming this is one of the doctor's bills from that visit, but is the above letter an acceptable form of DV and if not, what should be my next step or response to this letter?

Thanks in advance!

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Sue them. That is a "yup, you owe it" letter. Continued collection activity, improper validation, false or misleading representations, etc...

Where is the logic in saying "sue them" at this very early stage of the process and based on the tiny bit of information provided??? Even having provable violations is no guarantee of winning a court case.

I suggest that it might it be a good idea to know exactly what was asked for in the DV letter? Aside from that, we all know that what a CA is truly REQUIRED to provide a consumer is usually a far cry from what this (and most consumer) boards suggest be requested.

The OP may owe the bill and he may not...in any case, he needs to follow the dispute/DV process and if the facts warrant it and if the OP is willing to take on the fight TEHN perhaps it's time to consider going to court.

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I sent the letter given as an example for DV on this website - excluding the "I will proceed legally if necessary" jargon just so I didn't come off threatening from the get go.

Where to go from here?

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I suggest you write them back and say, quite clearly, that you dispute the debt because you don't know who the heck the MD is and have no idea what he is charging you for, and you cannot make any decision until they provide you with something from the MD that suggests he rendered you service and how he come up with the bill. Aks them to respond in writing in 30 days. Remind them that you are disputing per the FDCPA and if they contiue to try to collect ( via letters, phone or reporting to a CRA) before sending you validation of the debt you will consider them in violation of the law.

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Their letter is not sufficient to satisfy the requirements of FDCPA 809. If, by chance, your DV letter did not fall within the 30 day window of an initial communication, this may be their way of responding. It is still not correct. Remember, FDCPA 807(8) does not have a written requirement nor a timeframe, thus, they have knowledge of your dispute. And, of course, if this is from an initial communication, it is wrong. They are required to send you a copy of the bill on the OC's own letterhead. It must show the date of service, amount charged, amounts collected from any insurance, as well as allowed amounts from insurance, if applicable, and, the balance owed by the patient. If an insurance is involved, the amount they claim is your must match the amount noted on the insurance's EOB as copay/cost share/patient's responsibility. Their own computer generated statement does not meet the requirements either.

Your next step is to compose a second letter that clearly explains their response does not meet the requirements to prove validity of debt. Include copies of your first letter, green card, and their repsonse. If your DV was from an initial, state as such. If not, cite the other. And, most important, if the debt was to have been written off, as the Hospital was, state as such. Too many times a person who works in the billing does not always do their job and bills a patient when they shouldn't have. Also, if there is an insurance involved, even with this writeoff you mentioned, make sure if there was a billed amount and an allowed amount. By Federal law, a provider is to never bill a patient/beneficiary more than an allowed amount from ANY insurance carrier. It is called balance billing.

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